Ava Oien

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The Best Children's Picture Books Spring 2015

Last year was a stellar year for picture books and 2015 is already shaping up to include many future classics. Here are this season's titles that …

Forget history. It's these children's books that chart the world's progress

A housing estate here, a poltically correct gesture there, a health and safety flavour all round - reprints of children's favourites reveal the way we live now<p>The best birthday card I ever gave my mother featured an illustration from the Peter and Jane books she had used to teach me to read. …

Oklahoma Martial Arts Studio Offers Lightsaber Training - Unbound Worlds

PIC: JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World<p>If you’re looking for serious (?) training in the Jedi arts, you might want to plan a trip to Claremont, Oklahoma, home …

Someone snuck over the back fence<br>last night and pinched my ladder.<br>Then I found a bronze BMX<br>leaning outside the front door.

Books

Devon sent: why writers can’t resist the county

It’s always possible to pick holes, of course, to find fault and point the finger. John Keats described it as a “splashy, rainy, misty ... floody, muddy slipshod County”. Robert Southey thought it entirely overrated and “by no means deserving of the encomiums which are passed upon it”. And in his …

Literature

The Sound of Music Story by Tom Santopietro, review: 'more complex'

'The Sound of Music’ might be one of the most schmaltzy films of all time but the real-life story wasn’t so sweet<p>It has been 50 years since cinema audiences first fell for Julie Andrews twirling into song in the giddy opening frames of <b>The Sound of Music</b>. Flinging out her arms to the Technicolor …

Why great novels don't get noticed now

'Dear Thief’ was one of the best novels published last year. So why haven’t you heard of it? Gaby Wood meets its author, Samantha Harvey<p>Last year, when literary fiction seemed to fall either into the category of formal experiment (Ali Smith’s How to Be Both; Will Self’s Shark) or into an …

Things the Bible Doesn’t Say (But You Thought It Did)

Apples, unicorns and Jesus’ childhood are all missing from the Bible. Why?<p>The Bible is the most hotly debated and influential book of all time. …

Dave Rubin, Whitney Mixter Sound Off On The New Lesbian 'Star Wars' Character

Whitney Mixter of "The Real L Word" sounded off on news that a lesbian character was joining the official "Star Wars" canon on an installment of The Rubin Report this week.<p>On the show, Mixter joked to host Dave Rubin that the new character's name, Moff Mors, could be a tongue-in-cheek reference to …

The Hunger Games: #CatchingFire is in cinemas NOW! Have you seen it yet? Tweet us your reaction! http://t.co/Je8uzabXta

It’s time for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and being a Quarter Quell, it’s sure to be one to remember! #CatchingFire http://t.co/LBHVgbpzN5

Katniss Everdeen; girl on fire, revolutionary, sister, warrior, heroine. What do you love about her? #CatchingFire http://t.co/k9X9Voa5qL

DVDs and downloads: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, The Skeleton Twins, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and more

Perhaps in the future, when Hollywood studios film young-adult bestsellers on a chapter-by-chapter basis, we’ll look upon this as an innocent time. For now, however, the fashionable practice of splitting concluding volumes into two films is a dispiriting one, disrupting the primary objective of a …

Movies

The Divergent Series: Insurgent - Trailer 3

Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart.